October 30th, 2016

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If you ever ask a CEO what their company’s greatest asset is, you will often get the answer ‘brand’, ‘inventory’, ‘product’, and often the most common answer you get is ‘our people’. Essentially the answer is usually something that costs the company financially.

In the professional services industry people are the product, they are the face of the company, the brand and the engine. Without people, what is left?

While none of the above are the wrong answer, there is something else we must consider.

The world of work is changing; we are seeking new ways of working, and remote/flexible working is becoming the standard across many organisations.

For modern organisations to work, Trust, as a valuable business asset sits above all and enables businesses to thrive.

Awareness is growing around the idea that organisational trust is not a soft skill but rather a hard asset. It’s not something you can purchase, it’s something you earn.

Trust is not divided by wealth, or class. Neither earn’t by a merger or an acquisition. It comes down to hard work, an investment of time and the desire to put people at the front of your business.


Consider trust like the oil of a car. You can have the slickest tyres, brightest lick of paint and an engine that purrs. But without oil to keep everything in order, you’re just pouring money down the drain as it will inevitably come to a stop.

Awareness is growing around the idea that organisational trust is not a soft skill but rather a hard asset.


Today there is a great lack in trust within our society as a whole, from governments to large multinationals. Volkswagen is a great example, losing a huge amount of trust both internally and towards the public with their gas emissions scandal in 2015. The backlash of this was a 30% drop in their stock price and fines they will continue to pay for years to come.

Trust is the only asset that will make all other investments truly matter.

Trust forms a critical part of your brand – both for customers and employees.

Trust forms the foundation of any business seeking to attract and retain top talent.

As trust isn’t acquired by pulling out the cheque book or calling the bank, there are a few things to consider when leading and managing people.

Involve everyone

Being left out sucks, (in a work environment just as much as it does socially.) It’s even worse when you believe you should be involved. When people are genuinely involved, included in making decisions that impact them, they will feel valued and trusted.

Be Open

When people feel as if they are being trusted with information and believe that you are being open with them, you will start to see this trust reciprocated. Be open and transparent, don’t hold things back just because it’s what you’ve always done.

Stay consistent

Be consistent across the business, having multiple standards for various people and roles doesn’t end well and definitely doesn’t help when building trust within an organisation.

What experiences have you had that revolve around trust in an organisation? Is trust a valued asset in your organisation? We would love to hear your thoughts. #WeAreHumankind